Noisy Water Heaters

Occasionally water heaters become noisy after a short period of service. These sounds are often described as rumbling, bubbling, surging or boiling noises.
Many water heaters are installed in a location where they are somewhat isolated from main living areas, so their owners are not aware of the condition. But water heaters that are located close by bedrooms, or other living areas, they may be heard in the quiet of night. These sounds can be annoying.
The noise is a result of lime formations or sediment collecting on the bottom of the water heater tank.  It is not uncommon to find sand and other minerals settling onto the bottom of the tank.
When the burner is on and heating, droplets of water bubble through the crusty formations and sediment, creating the noises.
Electric water heaters with immersed heating elements, frequently develop “singing” or “hissing” sounds. This is caused by lime or scale accumulating on the element blades. Removal and scraping or cleaning with vinegar may help. Severe situations may require element replacement.
Sometimes homeowners report that a previous water heater was relatively quiet. It is difficult to explain why this should be, unless we know all the conditions. For example, the silent water heater may be fired at a lower gas rate or be heating the water at a lower temperature. Many other factors can influence the problem. However, be assured that another glass-lined water heater placed in the same location and, operated under identical conditions, will become noisy.
It is possible to reduce the noise by disconnecting the water heater and flushing the tank. However, it may not be possible to remove all the lime formations from the tank bottom, and when reconnected, it may become noisy again. In hard water areas, the best solution for eliminating the noise problem is to install a water softener, to inhibit scale build up.
Contact a trusted plumber in Utah County to perform a water heater check. Bert’s WaterWorks offers on-site services for both commercial and residential water heaters as well as water boilers.  We keep our technicians up to date on the latest technology and provide repairs for all brands, makes and models.  Our experienced plumbers can help you choose a water softener or a water conditioner that fits your needs.  Give us a call today at 801-756-5846.
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